Sunday, June 29, 2014

Frozen Meets Grumpy Cat

For the record, I love the movie Frozen.  I equally, if not a little more, love Grumpy Cat.  Naturally, I had to put the two together.  Even as much as I love that movie, I have kind of reached my limit with "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"  It's everywhere!  Facebook.  Twitter.  Pinterest.  My son's mouth.  My head.  My mouth.  I fall asleep singing it at night and wake up humming it in the morning.

I think every time I hear even the tiniest sliver of this song, my face automatically goes into Grumpy Cat mode.  Even if people don't see it on the outside, I can feel it on the inside.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My 30 Day "No Soda" Challenge - Part 1

I'm addicted to Pepsi.  I don't know what it is, or why, but you know how coffee drinkers need their morning cup of coffee?  I need my daily ice cold Pepsi.  I wish I were a coffee drinker, because then perhaps I would be addicted to coffee and not soda and surely coffee is a slightly better alternative.

I've actually given up soda several times in the past, but there seems to always be a stressful situation hat triggers me falling right back into the old trap.  I've never documented my challenge, though, and it's hard to remember what life was like soda-free when you're in the midst of a glorious, delicious, carbonated gulp.

Please spare me all the articles, comments, and details about how bad soda pop is for you.  I already know.  And yes, even with knowing, it hasn't prompted me to change.

So why the change now?  Honestly, there are several reasons.  One, I am about 40 lbs. heavier than when I got pregnant with my first son.  And when I think about diets, workout regimens, and all the healthier choices I need to make, I get overwhelmed and just want to crash and burn that baby before it even gets started.  So I have to do this in bite-size pieces and naturally, the first step (and probably easiest for me) is to give up soda.  I can manage this one change.  Baby steps, I tell myself.

Second, I've just been feeling like crap lately.  I've been on a soda binge big time and my skin is icky, I keep breaking out with acne, I can't sleep at night and then when I do get a full night of rest I still feel exhausted and lethargic in the morning.  I'm grumpy, cranky, and irritated.  I feel awful about my self-image and my self-esteem is in the dumps.  Need I go on?

Last, my soda habit is costing me a lot more money than I realize.  I tried to not keep Pepsi in the house, because then I drink it too much, so I would easily spend $1 a day to run somewhere and get a $1 Pepsi.  When we went out to eat and I ordered a soda, that was at least $2 right there.  Add up those bills here and there and I'm like, "Well crap, I could have bought that spinning wheel by now."  Or that new laptop.  Or whatever expensive thing I have my mind set on at the time.

So thank you internet and blogger for the ability to document my challenge.  I told myself I would stick with it for 30 days and post updates on how I feel, or how I think my body has changed, and then after 30 days I could make the decision to stick with it or go back to my old stinky ways.

I'm hoping that by 30 days I will have lost a little bit of weight and it will motivate me to keep going.

I won't post daily updates, but just as I notice changes or something of significance.  All right...bottoms up, you dear glass of water.  We are going to be really good friends for the next 30 days.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gone A Pickin': 8 Blueberry Recipes to Try

Here's a confession I'm a little embarrassed to make after today's ventures: I have never eaten fresh blueberries right off the bush, until today.  I quickly became addicted, so much so that I went picking twice in one day.

Here in southwest Missouri we have several little gems that are called U-Pick farms.  Some places might have strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries, but the majority of them are blueberries.  Basically, a land owner has several - a couple hundred - blueberry bushes and they charge a flat rate per pound for you to come and pick your own berries.  In my area it ranges from $2.75 to $2.95 per pound.  I'm not sure how that compares to grocery store prices, but the blueberries from the grocery stores are so nasty and uninspiring that I am willing to pay more per pound.  Some of the farms will even "buy" the berries from you, so you could essentially pick blueberries for free if you picked enough, or if you're not that interested in blueberries you could make a little extra pocket cash.

In about 1 hour I am able to pick about 7-8 lbs, depending on how heavy the bushes are and depending on how big the berries are and the variety.  The first farm I visited had very tall bushes with very fat blueberries.  I think I could have easily picked 10 lbs in an hour.  However, the second farm had a smaller, more compact variety and the berries were about half the size.  It took a lot longer to fill my bucket with the small berries.

Anyways, I only spent about an hour at each farm today and brought home well over 10 lbs of fresh blueberries.  I would have had more but I had my boys with me and it's kind of hard to pick quickly when your 4-year old is whining and freaking out about harmless beetles.  Sigh.

So what the heck am I going to do with 10 lbs of fresh berries?  Well, I already ate several handfuls.  That was pretty easy.  And delightful.  And now I'm going to freeze the rest of the 28 cups or so to save for cooking and baking, and save some to turn into Christmas presents when the time comes.

I went in search of some blueberry recipes and found 8 that I am going to try.  I found all of these on, which happens to be my go-to site for recipes.  All of the photos are taken from the All Recipes sight.  None of these are mine.

Blueberry Pie
Todd's Famous Blueberry Pancakes
Blueberry Lemon Loaf
Blueberry Sauce
Actually, now that I look at all these recipes, I am beginning to think that I don't have ENOUGH blueberries in my freezer.  Welp, I guess I know what I'm doing next week!  

If you want to find out if there's any U-Pick farms near you, just go HERE.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Cutest Bag on the Block: Vintage Linens Turned Market Tote

This was a random stumble while I was browsing through Etsy one day.  I am so in love with this idea, this shop, and her bags!  I absolutely cannot wait to order one!  Not only is a great idea for upcycling vintage linens, but she has great taste in which linens she chooses and how she pairs them together.  A bonus is that each one is fully lined and reversible, not to mention her shop (fairly new) has great reviews.

I love the special touch of the tags - she has the original linen tag combined with her branding tag.  Cute, huh?  And cool to see where your linens came from.

I mean, I am a little jealous.  It's such a cute, eco-friendly, brilliant idea.  Why didn't I think of that first?  OK, so I can't even sew and I'm not going to try and learn now.  I will just enjoy buying this bag and carrying it everywhere I go.

Kudos to Made For You By Me on Etsy.  Brilliant.  Beautiful.  Eco-friendly.  Bold.  Fashionable.  Simple. WONDERFUL.

Check out these favorites of mine:


Guess what else?  She has more than just totes in her shop!  Check out these cuties:

Vintage Linen Hoop Art
Vintage Linen Bunting
All photos property of MFYBM (Made For You By Me) on Etsy.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I Be Thrift Shoppin': Pretty Little Haviland Teacup and Saucer

I saw this on the shelf and it was instant love.  I don't own a fine china set, but it's on my list of something to get when...well, when the timing is right, I guess.  I would love to have a set to pass down to my children.

I love china.  I love the patterns you can find.  I love the colors and the quaint details, like the delicate curvature of the handle, the pleating and ribbing on a plate or cup, and the fine detail work of the design.

Haviland is a pretty popular name in the world of fine china.  If you'd like to read up on the history of Haviland, you can check this out.  

I am not expert appraiser when it comes to pottery, glass, or porcelain pieces.  I have no idea if this is authentic or a knock off.  I cannot find anything online that is similar to this pattern, except for a candy dish on Etsy for $20.00.  That listing didn't have any information on the history of this pattern, either.  I have no idea if it's a newer pattern or an older one.

It has a lovely floral motif done with blue branches, mint green leaves, bright yellow, orange, and red flowers.  Both the plate and the cup each have 1 single butterfly.  There is "gold" on the rim each of the saucer and the teacup, and the handle on the teacup also has some "gold."  

Both the teacup and saucer are pretty symmetrical, from what I can tell.  And the design is very pretty and neat, not sloppy at all.  

Here's a look at the backmarks.  I found several examples of antique backmarks online, but didn't find this one exactly which makes me think it is either a very modern pattern (2001 or newer) or a knock-off.

This is one of my favorite details about this set - look at that dainty ribbing!  The saucer has the exact same ribbing to match.

In the picture above you can see the butterfly.  This will certainly be a display only piece.  It does have 1 little chip around the rim of the teacup, but that's OK.  I'm not a diehard collector.   I just like it for its pretties.  

I got this set for $4.

Dining Room Decorating Total to Date: $7

Sunday, June 1, 2014

From Ugly Ugly to Shabby Chic Pretty: White Paint Is Awesome

Anytime I use or hear the word "awesome," it is in the Legos theme song.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, just Google it.  You're welcome and I'm sorry.

Moving on...

White paint is awesome.  I have kids, so it is my least favorite color.  I see people decorating in a sort of monochromatic, all white scheme and I admire it to heaven and back.  No siree, not in my house.  Maybe when the kids are grown, but for now...oh lawdy...I think my 4-year old would take a stark white wall and turn it into a Crayola masterpiece.  Too bad decorating in all black would be creepy and dark.  Can I just chalkboard paint everything?  That sounds kid friendly.

I cannot do all white, at least not everywhere.  What is it about all white, anyways?  It's so simple.  It looks clean, crisp, and refreshing.  It seems to have the ability to draw out certain details and make them the star of the show.

My ugly "bless our home" sign is the perfect example.  I just posted about this a few days ago.  It was a $2  thrift store find.  The second I saw it I thought, "Wow, that is hideous."  But then right after that thought, an even better one came in to mind: "That would look perfect with a coat of solid white paint!"

So I took home that ugly $2 sign and bought a $4 can of Krylon Fusion white satin spray paint.  No sanding or priming needed.  Thank you, Krylon.

Several rounds of thin coats and 30 minutes later, I do believe I like how it turned out.

Is this the most awesomely, amazing, brilliant upcycling you have ever seen?  Pfft.  Hardly.  

However, as simple as it is, I do hope it will inspire you to start looking at old, ugly items with new eyes.  Paint that ugly duckling and turn it into a swan.

By the way, this will be going in my dining room.  I plan to paint the walls in Glidden's Almost Aqua.  The stark white of the sign will really pop against the beautiful blue color.

Oh, and for the record, that $4 can of paint still has plenty left in it.  I think enough to do a mirror I found at a garage sale recently.  Stay tuned!